As part of the XI Moscow International Biennale ‘Fashion and Style in Photography-2019’ the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presents ‘A Day in the Museum’, an exhibition by Gérard Uféras.
MAMM has already shown the Russian public the work of Uféras several times. The artist has worked for many years in photojournalism and fashion photography. Gérard Uféras is a passionate music enthusiast, and a lover of opera and ballet. In the late 1990s he began working on a series of books about the world’s greatest opera houses. Naturally Gérard Uféras was among the star photographers providing images for the book on the reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theatre.
In his new project Gérard Uféras explores an important modern cultural phenomenon, the museum. Numerous images by classics of world and Russian photography in the second half of the 20th century are devoted to this theme, and young 21st-century photographers have also held sessions in Russian and international museums. Interest in this phenomenon is not accidental. In the last few decades, museums have rapidly changed, there is massive interest in art and the public is growing younger. The modern museum has been invaded by concerts, performances, film screenings and poetry evenings. Lectures and educational programmes are becoming the norm for the museum institution.
How does the public get their bearings in a museum, where apart from traditional guides there are now audio guides, QR codes and interactive phone applications? With the advent of new technologies and new museum functions, has the most important thing been preserved — that moment of personal contact between the viewer and the artwork? When Marcel Duchamp displayed his bottle drying rack and famous urinal in a New York museum in 1917 he emphasized by this conceptual gesture the significance of the museum context for the perception of art, which is dead without the viewer. We all apprehend a work of art to the extent of our readiness: the cultural baggage and the ability to actualise our experience at that particular moment.
Gérard Uféras acts simultaneously as artist, anthropologist and sociologist in this project. He observes, records and analyses what is seen with subtlety and humour. The study undertaken by Gérard Uféras is far more than just a clever and witty narrative about visitors in very diverse museums, it provides an opportunity for each one of us to see ourselves from one remove and reflect on our own relationship to art.
Gérard Uféras is the recipient of prestigious awards, including Prix Villa Medicis hors les murs (1990), the BP Arts Journalism Award (1991), World Press Photo Prize (1997), SCAM Grand Prix (1999), Digigraphie Award (2007), Top Fedrigoni Award (2013), etc.
Exhibitions of Uféras’ work have been held in major museums and galleries worldwide, among them the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, etc. His images feature in the collections of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (Paris); the National Gallery in London; the Bibliothèque Nationale de France; the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, etc.
Over the last 20 years Gérard Uféras has published 14 books, including ‘L’Etoffes des rêves’ (France, 2001), ‘Les coulisses du festival’, (France, 2005), ‘Saint Gobain PAM 150 ans’, (France, 2006), ‘Un pas vers les étoiles’ (France, 2006), ‘Etats de grace’, (France, 2009), ‘Dior, 30 avenue Montaigne’ (France, 2012), ‘Dés comme Dior’, (France, 2014), etc.
Since 1984 Gérard Uféras has collaborated with the Libération newspaper, which organised his first exhibition. His work regularly appears in publications such as: Télérama, Beaux Arts, The Independent Magazine, Jardin des modes, Das Magazin, Lo Specchio della Stampa, Marie Claire (Italy), Marie Claire (France), Madame Figaro, Le Monde, View Point, L’Officiel, L’Express, Io Donna, ‘D — La Repubblica Delle Donne, Amica, Il Corriere della Serra, Gala, Paper Magazine, Another Magazine, Paris Match, etc.
Gerard Uféras – A Day in the Museum
15 February 2019 — 31 March 2019
Ostozhenka 16 Moscou Russie